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Chinese Literature and Philosophy
Zonghengjia 縱橫家 "Coalition Advisors"

The so-called school of the coalition advisors (zonghengjia 縱橫家, literally "criss-cross school") is one of so-called Hundred Philosophical Schools (baijia 百家) of the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE). It is actually not a systematic tradition but an aggregation of the political strategies by various high ministers or retainers of powerful actors that often changed their employer among the "Warring States". Coalition advisors thus often served one ruler and one state only to change side one day with the consequence that they intrigued against their previous boss. Their main business was to search for the best methods to strengthen the state they served and to overcome enemies, often by carfully planned coalitions with other states. The coalitions of several weaker states against one militarily superior state (for example, Qin 秦) was called hezong 合縱 "perpendicular confederacy", the strengthening of one state to overcome a multitude of weaker polities was called lianheng 連橫 "horizontal federation". The first method would, as Han Fei 韓非 put it, led to hegemony (ba 霸), the latter to kingship (wang 王) or eventually to the rulership over an empire. In contrast to the other schools of political advisors, internal reform was not considered as important as the perfect alliance with or against another state. There methods are therefore extremely case-related and very superficial compared to the Confucian teaching of a the ruler's benevolence towards his own people or the legalist idea of a centralized bureaucracy relying on the power of the objective law.
The most famous coalition advisors are Su Qin 蘇秦 and Zhang Yi 張儀.

Source: Li Yaming 李亞明 (1996). "Zonghengjia 縱橫家", in: Zhuzi baijia da cidian 諸子百家大辭典, ed. by Feng Kezheng 馮克正, Fu Qingsheng 傅慶升, p. 963. Shenyang: Liaoning renmin chubanshe.

An overview of coalition advisors (roughly arranged chronologically)

Guiguzi 鬼谷子
Zhang Yi 張儀
Su Qin 蘇秦

Su Dai 蘇代 was an older brother of Su Qin 蘇秦. He advised the king of Yan 燕 and suggested creating an alliance with Chu 楚 and Wei 魏 to withstand the growing power of the states Qin 秦 and Qi 齊. The alliance was made, and in a joint attack the state of Qi was brought to the brinks of destruction

Su Li 蘇厲 was a younger brother of Su Qin 蘇秦. He helped his brother when the latter was arrested by the king of Wei 魏, and managed him to be set free. Later on, Su Li tried to persue the king of Qin 秦, not to have the notorious general Bai Qi 白起 have undertaken another campaign against Wei. Su Li also supported his brother to recommend Zhou Zui 周最 to King Min of Qi 齊湣王 (r. 323-284).

Chen Zhen 陳軫 was an advisor at the court of King Hui(wen) of Qin 秦惠文王 (r. 337-311), where he was a competitor to Zhang Yi 張儀. When Zhang was made counsellor-in-chief, Chen Zhen left to Chu 楚. He once was, as an ambassador of Qi, able to persuade general Zhao Yang 昭陽 of Chu not to further attack Qi. In the war between Han 韓 and Wei 魏, he stopped the king of Qin to support Han by comparing the king with a hunter regarding two tigers mauling themselves.

Gan Mao 甘茂
Gongsun Yan 公孫衍
Lu Zhonglian 魯仲連

Gongsun Shu 公孫戍 was a retainer of Lord Mengchan 孟嘗君 and accompanied him to Chu 楚. The king of Chu presented the king of Qi 齊 a bed made of ivory. The king ordered Deng Tu 登徒 to bring the present to Qi, but Deng was too afraid to take over the responsibility for such a precious object. Instead, Deng would present an ancient sword to Gongshun Shu if he would be spared to transport the bed. Gongsun persuaded Lord Mengchang not to accept the luxury item, and at the same time was given the sword by Deng Tu.

Feng Xuan 馮諼 was a retainer of Lord Mengchang 孟嘗君. Feng was sent out to collect debts from peasants. With the money, he was to buy anything that was missing in the Lord's house. Arrived in the villages, he collected the debts of the rich and burned the certificates of the indebted poor. When he returned, he presented the Lord what he had bought: benevolence, the only missing item in his household. When the Lord was dismissed by King Min of Qi 齊湣王 (r. 323-284) and returned to his territory of Xue 薛, he found himself cheered by the people. Feng Xuan was also able to have the king repent dismission of Lord Mengchang, and the latter was again appointed counsellor-in-chief.

Tan Shizi 譚拾子 was a man from Qi 齊 and a close friend to Lord Mengchang 孟嘗君. When the Lord, after his exile, returned to Qi, Tan welcomed him. The Lord was eager to take revenge for the humiliation he had suffered by being exiled, but Tan Shizi persuaded him to refrain from such thoughts

Chunyu Kun 淳于髡

Yan Chu 顏斶 was an advisor at the court of King Xuan of Qi 齊宣王 (r. 342-324). He was known for his sharp wits and could even make fun of the king. For this esprit the king wanted to make him a mighty and powerful minister, but Yan Chu declined and preferred returning to his home village.

Qi Maobian 齊貌辨 was a retainer of Lord Jingguo 靖郭君 of Qi 齊. On the accession of King Xuan 齊宣王 (r. 342-324), discrepancies between the Lord and the King emerged, and Lord Jingguo left the court. Qi Maobian was able to pursuade the King to receive the Lord again, and he was even made counsellor-in-chief.

Wang Dou 王斗 dared to openly criticize King Xuan of Qi 齊宣王 (r. 342-324) for his luxurious and extravagant lifestyle and that he did not employ men of abilities at the court. The king was deeply moved and ordered Wang Dou to name five persons he should offer a position to. The state of Qi thereafter became a powerful kingdom.

Tian Jian 田簡 was a retainer of Sima Xi 司馬憙 from the state of Zhongshan 中山. There were discrepancies between Sima Xi and Princess Yin Jian 陰簡, which Tian Jian tried to smoothen. He suggested Sima Xi to praise the beauty of Yin Jian in a conversation with the embassador of Zhao 趙. To the latter, he was to propose a marriage with the king of Zhao. Although the rift between the two persons was closed, the planned marriage was never arranged.

Nanwenzi 南文子 was an advisor of Duke Chu of Wei 衛出公 (r. 476-456). The king of Jin 晉 once presented Duke Chu with a white jade and four hundred horses. Everybody at the court acclaimed, but Nanwenzi was the only person perceiving that Jin planned to attack Wey. He suggested the king to make ready his troops of border defense and was thus able to forestall a surprise attack by Jin.

Xu Jia 須賈 was a noble of the state of Wei 魏. After the battle of Huayang 華陽, the army of Qin 秦 endangered the capital of Wei, Liang 梁. While the other ministers suggested ceasing some territory to Qin, Xu Jia was sent to the powerful counsellor of Qin, Marquis Rang 穰侯. Xu was able to pursue the Marquis to lift the siege of Liang.

Du He 杜赫 stood in the service of Zhao Yang 昭陽, a general of Chu 楚. Instead of leading the troops of five states against Qin 秦, Chu should better make peace with Qin, as Du He suggested.

Fei Yi 肥義 served King Wuling of Zhao 趙武靈王 (r. 325-299) and suggested to him strengthening the military. Under the reign of King Huiwen 趙惠文王 (r. 298-266), Fei Yi served as counsellor-in-chief. During the rebellion of Prince Zhang 公子章 and Tian Buli 田不禮, he was killed.

Cheng Hun 城渾 found out that the city of Xincheng 新城 was an excellent spot to serve as the new capital of Chu 楚. The commander of Xincheng bestowed him a cart so that he would be able to travel to the court of the king of Chu to submit his proposal.

Han Ming 汗明 was a very astute retainer of Lord Chunshen 春申君 of Chu 楚 who liked to make use of parables.

Wei Jia 魏加 was a minister of Zhao 趙. When Chu 楚 took over the leadership of an alliance against Qin 秦, Wei Jia pursued Lord Chunshen 春申君 of Chu 楚 to give up the campaign because he was not confident in the abilites of the general, Lord Linwu 臨武君.

Feng Ji 馮忌 helped Lord Luling 廬陵君 to regain the favour of King Xiaocheng of Zhao 趙孝成王 (r. 265-245), who wanted to send the Lord into exile.

Jiang Yi 江乙, in the service of the king of Chu 楚, was able to overcome his opponent, the Prime Minister (lingyin 令尹). He also made suggestions to a minister called Tan 壇, how to gain the favour of the king. With the help of Jiang Yi, Tan was given the title of Lord Anling 安陵君.

Guo Wei 郭隗 was an advisor of King Zhao of Yan 燕昭王 (r. 311-279) who wanted to attract worthy advisors to rebuilt a strong state that would be able to rake revenge for the earlier defeat by the armies of Qi 齊. Guo Wei underlined that a really strong ruler used the worthies as his teachers, and not only as friends or subjects. The king thereupon took Guo Wei as his teacher and built a palace for him. With the help of this gesture, the state of Yan attracted a lot of capable scholars, like Yue Yi 樂毅, Zou Yan 鄒衍 or Ju Xin 劇辛, and Yan became a strong state.

Mo'ao Zihua 莫敖子華, personal name Zi Zhang 子章, was once asked by King Wei of Chu 楚威王 (r. 339-329), if in the past, there had ever been a worthy that came not from the ranks of the nobility. Zi Zhang thereupon told the king the story of five of such worthies and admonished him to look at the talent of his advisors rather than at their status.

Keqing Zao 客卿造 was an advisor of Marquis Rang 穰侯 of Qin 秦. He strongly suggested that Marquis Rang might command an army to conquer more territory in the east, in order to enhance the status of the state of Qin and to change it from "a potters' country" to a powerful state.

Zhang Gai 張丐 served the king of Qi 齊 and was sent to Lu 魯 to pursuade its ruler to stay neutral and not to side with the powerful state of Chu 楚 that pushed towards the borders of Qi.

Pang Cong 龐蔥 was an advisor of the king of Wei 魏. When his son was to be sent to Zhao 趙 as a hostage, Pang Cong accompanied the prince and becalmed the king with the metaphor of three persons telling that there was a tiger on the market place. Pang Cong thus expressed that the king should not be disturbed by rumours.

Tian Xu 田需 was a counsellor-in-chief to King Ai of Wei 魏哀王 (r. 318-296). When the nobleman Guan Yan 管燕 was demoted from office by the king of Qi 齊, he had to leave the country, but nobody of his retainers would assist him to obtain a new position in another state. Alone Tian Xu dared criticizing Guan Yan for his disrespectful treatment of his retainers.

Zhao Li 趙利 gave advice to Marquis Wen of Wei 魏文侯 (r. 424-387), when the army of Zhao 趙 asked for permittance to march through Wei to attack the state of Zhongshan 中山. Zhao Li stressed that in case Zhao was defeated, Wei could become stronger, while in case of a victory, Wei would profit because Zhongshan was its neighbour.

→ Zhu Ji 朱己 is another name for Gongsun Wuji 公孫無忌, Lord Xinling 信陵君.

Sun Chen 孫臣 warned the king of Wei 魏 to cede territory to the victorious state of Qin 秦. This would be like extinguishing fire by adding fuel.

Zhang Chou 張丑 warned the king of Wei 魏 to grant a position to the exiled Zhang Yi 張儀. Later on, when Zhang Chou was taken a hostage in Yan 燕, he managed to escape his pursuers with the force of his persuasive power.

Zhou Xin 周訢 admonished the king of Wei 魏 not to travel to the court of the victorious king of Qin 秦.

→ Tian Wen 田文, i. e. Lord Mengchang 孟嘗君

Yao Jia 姚賈 came from Wei 魏 and served the states of Zhao 趙 and Qin 秦. In Qin, he conspired with counsellor-in-chief, Li Si 李斯, against Han Fei 韓非 and manged to have him charged for high treason as a spy of Han 韓. In jail, Han Fei committed suicide.

Dun Ruo 頓弱, known as Dunzi 頓子, suggested to the king of Qin 秦 to adopt the title of emperor. To do this, he would have to conquer the states of Han 韓 and Wei 魏. Only with the help of bribes, the other states would allow Qin to conquer the two states. Dun Ruo then traveled to the various states and tried to appease them.

Sima Cuo 司馬錯

Ying Qian 營淺 was an advisor to the king of Qin 秦. Qin demanded the territory of Shangluo 上洛 from Wei 魏, but Wei, victorious in a battle with Chu 楚, refused to cede the region. Ying Qian suggested to create an alliance with Chu to weaken Wei. The frightened king of Wei thereupon gave up Shangluo.

Wei Shun 魏順 pursued King Qingxiang of Chu 楚頃襄王 (r. 298-263) to participate in an alliance against Qin 秦. He used the city of Shiqiu 市丘 as a instrument to menace the king. If he would not command the army of the allied, the troops would have to plunder Shiqiu. The King conceded, and Wei Shun was highly rewarded by the governor of Shiqiu.

Zhuang Xin 莊辛 warned King Qingxiang of Chu 楚頃襄王 (r. 298-263) that he had to keep an eye on the safety of his country. The king ignored his warning, and only in the face of imminent danger, he called back Zhuang Xin from his exile in Zhao 趙. Zhuang was rewarded with the title of Lord Yangling 陽陵君.

Tang Qie 唐且 (Tang Ju 唐雎) was a retainer of Lord Anling 安陵君 in Chu 楚. The Lord, endangered by the king of Qin's 秦 request to cede his territory to him, sent Tang Qie to the court of the king of Qin, whith whom Tang started a political dispute. He convinced the king, and Lord Anling was spared. Tang Qie also served the lords Chunshen 春申君 of Chu 楚 and Xinling 信陵君 of Wei 魏.

Sikong Ma 司空馬 served King Youmiu of Zhao 趙幽繆王 (r. 235-228) as counsellor-in-chief. When Qin 秦 defeated Zhao, Sikong Ma suggested to the king to cede a large part of his territory to Qin, in order to appease the stronger. Yet the king did not accept his proposal, Sikong Ma asked to leave his post, and half a year later, Qin conquered Zhao and destroyed it.

Wei Chu 魏處 was an advisor to the counsellor-in-chief of Qi 齊, Lord Mengchang 孟嘗君, during a war between Qi and Yan 燕. The king of Qin wanted the state of Zhao 趙 to support Yan, which Qi wanted to prevent. Lord Mengchang therefore sent Wei Chu to Zhao. Wei Chu suggested to Li Dui 李兌, a general of Zhao, not to engage in the conflict because Zhao would profit in any case.

Chen Ying 陳應 was a son of Chen Zhen 陳軫, a high minister who lost favour with the king of Chu 楚. Zhang Yi 張儀 of Wei 魏 wanted to eliminate him by inviting him to become counsellor to the king of Wei. Yet Chen Ying warned his father not to go to Wei but to Qi 齊 instead, where he would be safe.

Zuo Shuang 左爽, also called Zuo Hua 左華, helped Chen Zhen 陳軫 who was accused of high treason by Zhang Yi 張儀 of Wei 魏. Zhang's charge was that Chen still sided with the king of Chu 楚, his old employer. Zuo Shuang convinced the king of Chu to call Chen Zhen back.

Gongsun Hong 公孫弘, a retainer of Lord Mengchang 孟嘗君, was sent to Qin 秦 in order to conclude an alliance. Yet the arrogant King Zhaoxiang of Qin 秦昭襄王 (r. 306-251) dispised the minor representative of Qi 齊. Gongsun Hong, with the help of his disputative force, highly impressed the king of Qin and managed the conclusion of the alliance.

Zhong Qi 中期 warned King Zhaoxiang of Qin 秦昭襄王 (r. 306-251) to overestimate the strength of his state. He was the only advisor on the royal court daring to say so, and therefore convinced the king to first further consolidate his state.

Zhao Ji 昭忌 was a minister of Wei 魏. When Qin 秦 attacked Han, King Zhao of Wei 魏昭王 (r. 295-277) wanted to support Han, but Zhao Ji warned him. The king did not listen to his warnings, supported Han, and Wei was subsequently endangered by the victorious Qin. Zhao Ji was sent to the court of King Zhaoxiang of Qin 秦昭襄王 (r. 306-251) to ask for a halt of the campaign against Wei.

→ Huang Xie 黃歇, better known as Lord Chunshen 春申君

Gongsun Han 公孫閈 was a retainer of Tian Ying 田嬰 of Qi 齊. When King Wei of Qi 齊威王 (r. 378-343) wanted to appoint Tian Ying rulers over the statelet of Xue 薛 in the southwest, King Huai of Chu 楚懷王 (r. 328-299) felt endangered and menaced to attack the region. Gongsun Han was sent to Chu and convinced King Huai of the harmlessness of Tian Ying with the argument that many territories (regional statelets) would weaken Qi instead of strengthening it.

Fan Zuo 范座 was a counsellor-in-chief of Wei 魏. Yu Qing 虞卿, minister of Zhao 趙, intrigued against Fan Zuo and caused the King Anxi of Wei 魏安釐王 (r. 276-243) to arrest Fan Zuo. From the jail, Fan Zuo sent a letter to Lord Xinling 信陵君 and warned him of the machinations of Yu Qing that would endanger the safety of the state of Wei. Lord Xinling thereupon asked the King Anxi to set Fan Zuo free.

Duan Gui 段規 was an advisor to Han Kangzi 韓康子, the later king of Han 韓. When the three nobles of Han, Wei 魏 and Zhao 趙 divided the territory of their lord, the duke of Jin 晉, Duan Gui urged Han Kangzi to occupy the important place of Chenggao 成皋. This place would be an excellent base of operations for later conflicts.

Mang Mao 芒卯, also called Meng Qing 孟卿, came from Qi 齊 and was counsellor-in-chief of Wei 魏. When the states of Qin 秦 and Zhao 趙 made an alliance to attack Wei, Mang Mao offered the territory of Ye 鄴 to Zhao. Zhao thereupon dissolved the alliance with Qin, and, fearing that Wei had now created an alliance with Qin, dared not to occupy Ye. Zhao furthermore offered to cede some territory to Wei with the offer to create an alliance against Qin.

Leng Xiang 冷向 was a high minister in Qin 秦. Once Zheng Qian 鄭強, an exiled minister of Han 韓, wanted to take revenge and offered a bribe to the king of Qin to attack its own ally, the state of Han. Leng Xiang suggested to him to cause internal quarrel between the counsellor Prince Gong Shu 公叔 and his competitor to the throne, Prince Ji Se 幾瑟 (Ji Shi 蟣虱), who dwelled as a hostage in Chu 楚. Fearing a conflict with Chu, Han would not attack Chu, and this would cause the king of Qin to doubt the sincerity of Han.

Yue Yi 樂毅

Xi Xie 希寫 consoled Lord Jianxin 建信君of Zhao 趙 who felt dispised by Lord Wenxin 文信君 (i.e. Lü Buwei 呂不韋) of Qin 秦. The advantage of this situation was, said Xi Xie, that Qin underestimated the strength of Zhao and would not attack it as its prime enemy.

Wei Qi 魏鬿 or Wei Ga 魏尬 was a political advisor of Lord Jianxin 建信君 of Zhao 趙 and stressed that a good politician should have an eye on all aspects of government.

Diao Bo 貂勃 warned King Xiang of Qi 齊襄王 (r. 283-265) to kill his minister Lord Anping 安平君 (i.e. Tian Dan 田單) inspite of his high merits. The King thereupon had killed the Lord's enemies, a party of nine nobles.

Cai Ze 蔡澤

Hu Yan 胡衍, a minister of Wei 衛, traveled to the court of the king of Qin 秦 after his armies had conquered a part of Wei. This occupation, Hu Yan said to King Wu of Qin 秦武王 (r. 310-307), would only profit the state of Wei 魏 but had no advantage for Qin. Counsellor Chulizi 樗里子 thereupon called off the troops of Qin.

Gan Luo 甘羅 was a grandson of Gan Mao 甘茂, counsellor in Qin 秦. When Lü Buwei 呂不韋, counsellor-in-chief of Qin 秦, planned to conquer more territory in the east, Gan Luo offered to go to Zhao 趙, the state whose territory should be attacked. Gan Luo convinced King Daoxiang of Zhao 趙悼襄王 (r. 244-236) to rather cede territory than to risk a war. He also pursued the king to unite with Qin to an alliance against Yan 燕, a state that had declined to wage war against Zhao.

Fan Ju 范雎
Yu Qing 虞卿

Lou Huan 樓緩 was in the beginning a high minister of King Wuling of Zhao 趙武靈王 (r. 325-299). He strengthened the army of Zhao by integrating barbarian-syle cavalry units. Later on he became counsellor-in-chief of King Zhaoxiang of Qin 秦昭襄王 (r. 306-251). In this position he created an alliance with Zhao and Song 宋 against the powerful union of Qi 齊, Wei 魏 and Han 韓. Qin was badly defeated, and Lou Huan had to resign his post. A later effort to subdue Zhao proved successless.

Sima Qian 司馬淺 served King Wuling of Zhao 趙武靈王 (r. 325-299). There was a dispute at the court whether to ally with Qi 齊 and Wei 魏 or with Qin 秦 and Chu 楚. Sima Qian supported the position of Fu Ding 富丁 and convinced the King that an alliance with Qi and Wei would bring territorial benefits for Zhao by occuping areas of Qin and Zhongshan 中山.

Zhou Zui 周最 (also read Zhou Xu) was a prince of the younger royal line of Western Zhou 西周 (not the ancient Western Zhou!). He served King Min of Qi 齊湣王 (r. 323-284) and suggested confederating with Wei 魏 against Qin 秦. Later on the king made an alliance with Qin, and Zhou Zui had to leave. He became a minister in Wei but then returned to Qi again to support this state.

Zou Ji 鄒忌

Anlingjun 安陵君, Lord Anling, Prince Tan 壇, was a noble in the state of Chu 楚. His territory, Anling, was once attacked by the state of Wei 魏, but stubbornly defended by Suo Gao 縮高. The commander of the Wei troops, Lord Xinling 信陵君, tried to corrupt Suo Gao by offering him a title of nobility. Yet Suo Gao, loyal to his lord, commited suicide. Lord Xinling was so moved by this expression of utmost fidelity that he released the city of Anling.

Zhi Qi 支期 warned the king of Wei 魏 to travel to the court of Qin 秦 in order to keep an earlier promise to render a visit and pay homage to Qin. Instead, Zhi Qi pursuaded the Marquis of Changxin 長信侯 to take over the visit to Qin.

Chu Zhuo 觸讋 or Chu Long 觸龍 was a minister of Zhao 趙. Just after the accession of King Xiaocheng 趙孝成王 (r. 265-245) to the throne, when Queen Dowager Wei 趙威后 still reigned for him, Qin 秦 wanted to attack Zhao. Zhao called for help with Qi 齊, but the king of Qi asked to hand over Prince Chang'an 長安君 as a hostage. The Queen dowager wanted to decline, but Chu Long persuaded her to do so for the sake of the country.

Li Yuan 李園 was a counsellor-in-chief of the state of Chu 楚. When Qin 秦 made an alliance with Wei 魏 and sent out general Xin Wu 辛梧 to attack Chu, Li Yuan traveled to Qin and pursuaded Xin Wu to blow off the campaign.

Mao Sui 毛遂 was a retainer of Lord Pingyuan 平原君 of Zhao 趙. Mao Sui was sent to the state of Chu 楚 to ask for support against the army of Qin 秦 that besieged the capital of Zhao, Handan 邯鄲. Mao Sui succeeded to pursade the king of Chu to make a blood alliance with Zhao. This story is recorded in the Shiji 史記, not in the Zhanguoce 戰國策.

Gongsun Long 公孫龍 is known as a philosopher of the school of dialecticians (mingjia 名家). He was a retainer of Lord Pingyuan 平原君 from Zhao 趙, but also served as an advisor to King Zhao of Yan 燕昭王 (r. 311-279). One story in the Shiji 史記 says that when Yu Qing 虞卿 suggested offering Lord Pingyuan a territory because Lord Xinling had liberated the city of Handan 邯鄲, Gongsun Long persuaded Lord Pingyuan not to accept the unjustified merit. This episode demonstrates Gongsun Long's feeling for right and wrong, just as he explained in his philososophical theories.

Chunyu Yue 淳于越 warned the First Emperor of Qin 秦始皇 (r. 246-210) against the flattering words of many persons at his court, especially Zhou Qingchen 周青臣. The Emperor should, he suggested, keep to the traditional Zhou-period system of local administration by giving the government of commanderies into the hands of princes or supporters that had earned merits. Yet counsellor-in-chief Li Si 李斯 countered that the times of the ancient Zhou-period system were over and that the empire would have to rely on a more bureaucratic apparatus. This story is recorded in the Shiji 史記, not in the Zhanguoce 戰國策.

Han Fei 韓非

Bao Shen 葆申 was a high minister of King Wen of Chu 楚文王 (r. 689-677). The King did never attend to the court but preferred to indulge in pleasure. Bao Shen therefore tried to formally punish the king, according to the regulations of his predecessors, with the sound of a whip, but the King was not impressed by this didactic play. Bao Shen then accused himself openly of incompetence in order to awaken the king and reclaimed the death penalty for himself. Only then the king changed his mind and started caring for government affairs.

Lü Buwei 呂不韋
Li Si 李斯

Source: Fang Lizhong 房立中 (ed. 1995). Zonghengjia quanshu 縱橫家全書. Beijing: Xueyuan chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

July 18, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail